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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 13:203-218 (2011)  -  DOI:

Making protected area networks effective for marine top predators

Sascha K. Hooker 1,2,*, Ana Cañadas3, K. David Hyrenbach4, Colleen Corrigan5, Jeff J. Polovina6, Randall R. Reeves

1Sea Mammal Research Unit, Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8LB, UK
2Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés, UMR 6250, Université de La Rochelle/CNRS, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges,
17032 La Rochelle, France
3ALNITAK Marine Research Center / ALNILAM Research and Conservation, Cándamo 116,
28240 Hoyo de Manzanares, Madrid, Spain
4Hawaii Pacific University, Department of Marine Sciences, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744, USA
5UNEP-WCMC, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DL, UK
6Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce, 2570 Dole Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 97822, USA
7Okapi Wildlife Associates, 27 Chandler Lane, Hudson, Quebec, J0P 1H0, Canada

ABSTRACT: The design of ecological networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) is generally based on the identification of areas of high abundance for species of conservation concern or focal biodiversity targets. We discuss the applicability of this approach to marine top predators and contend that the design of comprehensive and effective MPA networks requires the following 7 principles: (1) the use of wildlife-habitat modelling and spatial mapping approaches to develop testable model predictions of species distribution and abundance; (2) the incorporation of life-history and behavioural data into the development of these predictive habitat models; (3) the explicit assessment of threats in the design and monitoring process for single- or multi-species MPAs; (4) the serious consideration of dynamic MPA designs to encompass species which use well-defined but spatially dynamic ocean features; (5) the integration of demographic assessment in MPA planning, allowing provision of advice to policy makers, ranging from no to full protection; (6) the clear articulation of management and monitoring plans allowing retrospective evaluation of MPA effectiveness; and (7) the adoption of an adaptive management approach, essential in the light of ongoing and anticipated ecosystem changes and species range shifts in response to climate change.

KEY WORDS: Marine Protected Areas · Marine reserves · Reserve networks · Top predators · Marine mammals · Marine birds · Marine turtles · Predatory fish

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Cite this article as: Hooker SK, Cañadas A, Hyrenbach KD, Corrigan C, Polovina JJ, Reeves RR (2011) Making protected area networks effective for marine top predators. Endang Species Res 13:203-218.

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